A Delay In Signing Up For Medicare Can Lead To Big Penalties
Reuters reports on how seniors who wait too long to sign up for Medicare Part B could face costly penalties. Meanwhile, CQ HealthBeat reports on the political implications of Medicare's monthly premiums.
Reuters: Big Penalties Await Those Who Delay Medicare Filing
Most seniors on Medicare will pay $99.90 per month this year for Part B outpatient coverage. But how would you like to pay 10 percent more for that coverage, or 50 percent more? Failing to sign up for Medicare at the right time can cost you - big time. The monthly Part B premium jumps 10 percent for each full 12-month period that a senior could have had coverage but didn't sign up. A mistake can be costly; someone who fails to enroll for five years would face a 50 percent Part B penalty - 10 percent for each year of delay. That penalty is permanent, and can translate into thousands of dollars in unnecessary lifetime penalty expenses; a headache no one needs on top of already soaring health care costs (Miller, 1/20).
CQ HealthBeat: Medicare's Monthly Premiums May Drive A Wedge Between Rich And Poor
Warren Buffett shouldn't just have to pay higher taxes than his secretary. He also should have to pay steeper monthly Medicare premiums than a retired widow living on a fixed income. Many Democrats say that makes sense. In the 2010 health care overhaul they decided to expand the practice of charging the wealthy higher premiums — a fundamental shift first implemented by the Republican Congress to help pay for the 2003 Medicare overhaul (Reichard, 1/20).